If I had to describe the vibrant city of Bangkok in just a few words, I would say markets, night markets and even more markets. If you’re a fan of food, culture, shopping or markets, I couldn’t suggest a better destination than Bangkok, Thailand.
Though weather in Bangkok is warm year round, it is divided into three seasons. Cool season, hot season and rainy season.
Also the most popular time for tourists to visit Bangkok, “cool season” (note quotation marks) ranges from November to February with temperatures averaging 27 degrees C.
Hot season is between March and June with typical temperatures hitting 31 degrees C. Along with temperatures, humidity peeks during this time which for some, can be extremely uncomfortable.
Rainy season lasts from July to October bringing regular temperature levels to 28 degrees C. I visited Bangkok smack bang in the middle of rainy season and while we caught the odd shower here and there, the weather remained relatively pleasant throughout our holiday.
Sure, you can be rudimental and hire a car or motorcycle. You can even catch taxis or take the hop on hop off bus, but the best form of transportation has to be the tuk tuks. Tuk tuks are basically 3 wheeled motorcycles with a box like enclosure attached to the back and I highly recommend making them your main form of transportation during your trip. Not only are they quick and efficient, but they are (fairly) safe and in my opinion, the most exciting way to see the great city of Bangkok.
Where I stayed
We stayed at Royal Hotel in Chinatown and even though we were directly located on the busy main road, it was surprisingly quiet in the hotel. There were both food and night markets along the streets.
Though there are a wide variety of floating markets throughout Thailand, the two I visited are midst the most popular and largest. Each has so much to offer so If you can, I’d highly recommend visiting them both!
The Amphawa floating markets is the second largest floating markets and is perfect if you feel like taking a waterfront stroll. However, there are not many typical boat markets, most of them are situated alongside the river not on boats. If you happen to stay into the evening, be sure to check out the breath taking firefly tours leaving from the Amphawa markets.
Amongst the most touristy markets in Bangkok, the Damnoen floating markets are the perfect outing to fulfil your wishes of visiting an authentic, Thai floating market. With wooden boats filled to the brim with fruits, vegetables, souvenirs and artwork there’s something intriguing for most. You can hire a private boat for around $70 (Aussie dollars) for 2 hours.
Maeklong markets is one of the most unique markets in the world. Located directly on a railway, the markets are made up almost entirely of food, predominately seafood. It is an incredible sight to watch the vendors taking down the shelter covering the railway to allow for the train to pass moments before its arrival. Address- Mae Klong Mueang Samut Songkhram District Samut Songkhram 75000 Thailand. Opening hours- The opening hours vary but the best time to visit Maeklong markets is in the morning before the heat picks up and the masses of tourists arrive. The train schedule differs as well but usually travel through the markets every 3 (ish) hours.
There are night markets at every corner of Bangkok. Here are a few!
Rod Fai- perfect for the vintage lovers! Ratchada- popular with tourists and locals alike. JJ Green- a trendy flea market!
Chatuchak- Arguably the most popular market in Bangkok, there are countless stalls to choose from. Sampeng Markets- A hectic market in the heart of Chinatown. Pak Khlong Talat-A precious flower, fruit and veg market!
Opt for the cultural route and visit one of Bangkoks many historical temples
Wat Trimitr Samphanthawong Temple of the Golden Buddha. Address- 661 Chaoren Krung Road Talad Noi Samphanthawong Bangkok 10100
Wat Phra Kaew Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Address- Na Phra Lan Road Phra Borom Maha Rajawang Phra Nakhon Bangkok 10200
Wat Pho Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Address- 2 Sanamchai Road Grand Palace Pranakorn Bangkok 10200
Wat Arun Located along the Chao Phraya River (also known as the Temple of Dawn) this ancient temple is one of Bangkok’s most visited. Address- 158 Wang Doem Road Wat Arun Bang Kok Yai Bangkok 10600
Bangkok just happens to be home to 2 of the largest shopping centres in the world!
Siam square shopping centre is one of the top ten largest shopping centres in the world and offers a range of items. Boutiques who offer great prices as well as high end fashion stores are found at Siam Square. Opening hours-10:00 am – 10:00 pm Address- 979 Rama I Road Pathum Wan Pathum Wan Bangkok 10330
Central World is part of the top 5 largest malls on earth with an assortment of stock including both Asian and western brands. Don’t forget to visit the Frozen Bride on one of the top levels to pick up some mouth-watering gelato in the shape of a flower. Opening hours- 10:00 am – 10:00 pm Address- 4,4/1-4/2,4/4, Ratchadamri Road Pathum Wan Pathum Wan Bangkok 10330
- Stay hydrated friends!
- Bargain. When visiting the many markets that Bangkok has to offer, don’t accept the first offer. Some stalls have set prices but many want you to engage and find a price that suits both the consumer and the retailer. You can usually barter down the price by roughly 30%.
- In saying that, keep in mind that venders (retail and transportation drivers) have families that they are working to support too.
- Eat where the locals eat for the best prices AND the best food!
- For those on a budget, street food will become your best friend
- My last and most important tip, is to try mango sticky rice! You’ll thank me later